Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Being Used

While we help anyone who shows up with a desire to stay sober, we cast a wary eye at those who receive a monthly Social Security check.  That's because a large percentage of clients who show up with Social Security disability have a pattern.

Those are the ones who show up the last half of the month, who are sick, broke, and homeless, asking for help.

And the rap is always the same, "When I get my check on the first I'll pay what I owe and a month in advance." But our experience has been – more than half the time - that they take the check and disappear. Then we’re left holding the bag for a couple weeks of room and board.

If they do that once, then want to come back, we always require them to make a large deposit before we let them in again.

We do have clients on Social Security who’ve been with us for years and it can be a good arrangement for everyone. They have a safe and sober environment - and we're helping an addict with limited resources to live sober.

But those are the ones who were ready.